Nico Müller is regarded as an all-rounder who is fast in any race car. Be it the Audi RS 5 DTM, Audi R8 LMS, Audi S1 EKS RX quattro or the Audi e-tron FE05: Nico Müller and his No. 51 car, with which he scored karting successes in the past, keep appearing at the very top of the leaderboard.
In the DTM, Müller is almost part of the inventory. 2019 marks his sixth season in the popular touring car series, where the Swiss has made a name for himself – for example in 2016 with his first pole position, first podium and first victory – of all places at Audi’s prestigious home race at the Norisring. However, the 27-year-old has not yet achieved his big breakthrough in the DTM. To now, the Swiss has finished in the top ten overall only twice.
This should change in 2019. During the winter months, Müller was involved as the test and development driver for the new Audi RS 5 DTM with its 610+ hp two-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine – a role that had previously been permanently assigned to Mattias Ekström, his long-standing teammate and mentor.
Since Ekström’s retirement at the beginning of the 2018 season, Müller has suddenly become the seasoned driver of the most successful Audi team to contest the DTM. Accordingly, expectations are high. “I feel well prepared,” says the Swiss. “My ABT crew did a great job over winter. I’m super motivated, I’m determined to be amongst the frontrunners right from the start and I’ll do my utmost for this.”
When he talks about the new Audi RS 5 DTM and the brawnier turbo engines his eyes light up. “Thanks to the new cars, I’m super excited for the 2019 DTM season. There’s a lot of action in the cockpit with this boost in power. It’s huge fun. After the tests I simply can’t get enough of the new Audi RS 5 DTM. It’ll be spectacular to see the capacity grid with these turbo monsters jostling their way through Turn 1 at Hockenheim. The races will definitely be thrilling.”
Since early 2018, Müller has also worked as the test and development driver for the company’s Formula E project. The Formula E simulator at Audi Sport in Neuburg a. d. Donau is virtually a second home for the Swiss. He also regularly takes the wheel of the real Formula E racer.
While he finds the innovative electric racing series fascinating, his heart is firmly set on the Audi RS 5 DTM. “The DTM is simply a fantastic racing series,” he says. “I definitely wouldn’t trade in the turbo for the old V8 naturally aspirated engine.”
With Robin Frijns, he has a teammate with whom he can discuss both the DTM and Formula E. “We’ve known each other for ages and we immediately clicked during our first DTM season together with ABT,” says Müller, who, like Frijns, began his career racing karts and single-seaters before achieving successes with the Audi R8 LMS GT3 racing cars in Audi’s customer sport. The absolute highlight for him was clinching overall victory at the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in the 2015 season.
At the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS, Müller continues to contest selected GT races. Driving for Mattias Ekström’s team, the Swiss has also made guest appearances in the FIA World Rallycross Championship (World RX). “It’s huge fun,” says
Müller. “I’m very grateful to Mattias for giving me the chance in his EKS rallycross team.”
Privately, the versatile racer has swapped his Audi RS 6 Avant performance for the new Audi Q8 this year. “I simply wanted to try something new after driving three different RS 6. I really like the look of the Q8. The interior is awesome and the car is great for traveling and eating up the miles.”
With his German partner Victoria, Müller recently moved to Blumenstein, not far from his birthplace Thun. As a sports soldier in the Swiss Army, Nico Müller stays fit at the national sports center in Magglingen, the Olympic base of Swiss Ski. “I have perfect training conditions there and have come to know many other athletes and sporting disciplines,” says Müller. The Audi DTM pilot also enjoys cycling. “I ride a mountain bike in cold weather and mostly a road bike in summer.”